A growing number of Black Friday shoppers are taking to the internet to complain of false and misleading ads, out of stock items, and “flat out ripoffs”. Many excited shoppers left their homes in the early morning hours for the Black Friday sales, but returned home disappointed.
Vickie Andrews was one of those shoppers. Arriving at a Walmart at 4:30 am, Andrews got in line for a 5 am sale on laptop computers. The sale opened… and quickly closed when the small amount of available laptops were sold out to ticket holders. Andrews left empty handed, not knowing ahead of time about ‘tickets’.
A user on my3cents.com also complained of the ticket policy at Walmart. “So, electronics (sale) starts at 5 am? Too bad only your employees know that you can receive tickets for electronic items starting @ 2 am.”
On complaintsboard.com, one user wrote “Radio Shack had an Ad for a Acer Netbook for Black Friday. We got to the store at 2:45 am and were the 4th in line. The add said there was a minimum of 1 per store. The Ad should have said there is only 1 per store. We waited in line for 3 hours to find out there was only 1 total in the store and the guy who was camped out overnight was the one who received it. If the ad would have said only 1 per store, I would not have even bothered going.”
On measuredup.com, a user complained about Target’s Black Friday sale, saying she arrived two hours before the 5 am opening time. The TV she wanted was sold out within minutes. She complained of it being ” just a gimmick to get as many people in their store as possible.” She finished by saying she would never visit Target again.
Complaints about Black Friday sales have not limited to the U.S. nor to physical stores. In the U.K, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been inundated with complaints about Amazon.uk. So called ‘Lightening deals’ came and went so fast users were unable to take advantage of them. ‘Deals expired faster than the click of a mouse,’ according to members of the Amazon forums. Many wondered out loud if the deals were genuine in the first place, according to gadgetsandgizmos.org. The ASA said they will investigate.
Walmart, Amazon, and other major retailers are hoping to keep the shopping frenzy going with more online deals and specials starting tonight at midnight, the start of Cyber Monday. None have issued statements indicating any changes to the policies that shoppers have complained about.